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Kick off 11:00 (UK)

10 September 2016 Venue Blackburn Rovers Training Centre Attendance

Kick off 11:00 (UK)

Blackburn Rovers U18
1 - 1
Manchester City U18

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Match Reports

Rovers u18s 1 Man City u18s 1

14 September 2016

Rovers' Under-18s earned a creditable draw with Manchester City at Brockhall on Saturday.

After Joe Grayson had seen his penalty saved, Daniel Butterworth gave Rovers the lead but the visitors levelled just before the break.

In what was an entertaining end-to-end encounter, both sides had opportunities to win the game in the second half, with a draw a fair result.

Rovers went into the match looking to bounce back from their defeat to Newcastle before the international break, but up against a City side that had demolished Liverpool 7-0 in their previous encounter, they found it tough going in the opening exchanges.

However as the first half wore on Billy Barr's side came more into the game and were awarded a penalty just past the midway point when Stefan Mols was brought down in the box.

Grayson stepped up from 12-yards but his penalty was well saved by City keeper Arijanet Muric down to his left.

Rovers kept going and were soon celebrating the opening goal. Having intercepted a pass in midfield, Brad Lynch played Butterworth in one on one and he finished well with a high strike.

But Rovers couldn't take that lead into the break as the visitors levelled on the stroke of half-time.

With the home side claiming that the ball had gone out of play, City took full advantage with Tom Dele-Bashiru firing beyond Ben Ascroft to make it 1-1.

City started the second half strongly, but with Rovers defending resolutely, they restricted their much-fancied opponents to little in the way of goalmouth opportunities.

And like the first 45, Rovers grew into the game once more, Grayson playing Butterworth in on goal only to be brought down by the last City defender, but to everyone's astonishment only a yellow was brandished.

Tre Pemberton then went close after battling well to win the ball in the centre of the park, but having slipped the ball under the advancing keeper, it rolled agonisingly wide of target.

Rovers could have claimed all three points in stoppage time at the end of the game when quick thinking from a City free-kick saw Ascroft set Rovers on the attack. Te-Jay Robinson and Butterworth combined to look for Jack Evans, but whilst the midfielder couldn't connect with his outstretched boot, Pemberton arrived to fire goalwards only for Muric to tip the shot onto the post to ensure the match ended all square.

"It was refreshing to watch an academy match played like that," said Under-18s coach Billy Bar.

"Everyone said it was such a good game, it was end-to-end, there were fair tackles and good attacking play from both sides.

"We showed bravery with the ball and tried to do the right things. After the disappointment of Newcastle it was good that we showed the kind of performance that we know we are capable of."

ROVERS: Ascroft, Jackson (sub Makinson 80 mins), Thompson, Grayson, C. Doyle, Magloire, Pemberton, Mols, Butterworth, Lynch (sub Robinson 70 mins), Wright (sub Evans 67 mins).

Subs not used: Campbell, Curran.

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